Who's Who of the July Festival...Bulwell Youth Theatre

Posted on 24 June 2015

Can you tell us a little about the history of the group and its mission?

The group meets in the Bulwell Academy weekly during term time. From 2007 – 2010 it ran in Feeder Primary schools, funded by an education improvement partnership. It then lost its funding. Thanks to funding from the BBC Performing Arts fund the group started up again in February 2014 and currently has over 30 regular members. Its purpose is to introduce young people to theatre whilst improving their confidence, social and performance skills as well as building links with their families and the Bulwell community.

What types of project have you worked on in the past and what are you working on currently?

Last year the group took their devised performance of Beauty and the Beast to Nottingha M Playhouse, and around the Bulwell schools. Over the winter months they have been devising work based on winter in the Trenches during WW1. The 9 – 14 year olds have performed this work at a Community event and have also toured primary schools delivering workshops based on the war to their school peers.

Tell us a little more about the production/performance piece you will be presenting as part of the July Festival weekend?

“Little Red” is BYT’s 2015 piece. They are performing it at Nottingham Castle, Nottingham Playhouse, Mansfield Old Library Theatre as well as around the Bulwell schools at the beginning of July. This is BYT’s first performance outside Nottinghamshire and they are very excited to be representing Nottingham playhouse at the festival. Performed as an Ensemble, this piece of physical theatre has been devised by the group and is loosely based around the story of Red Riding Hood.

Is this the group’s first experience of taking their work on the road? What do you hope the participants will take from their experience?

This is the furthest the participants have ever travelled to perform. The Nottingham Playhouse over 50s group has raised the money to pay for our travel to and from Coventry. We hope the participants will enjoy performing their work to others on a different stage, watch other performances and gain new skills, also that they will get to meet and network with other young likeminded lovers of theatre.

Why, in your opinion, is it important to invest in the creation of work by and for young people?

Too much emphasis is based these days on science subject and subjects where students are expected to sit at desks instead of exploring the arts and being creative. We need young people to be more rounded individuals with thoughts and opinions. Theatre helps these young people have confidence and belief in themselves, allowing them to think things through and respond creatively and artistically instead of writing an answer in a box.